Cape Town – Helen Zille took to Twitter again last
night, this time to brand her soon-to-resign DA party leader Mmusi Maimane
Shortly before Maimane’s much-anticipated public announcement of his
resignation, and with this decision
known to Zille, she posted to Twitter Charles Mackay’s poem “No Enemies”, saying sometimes a poem “speaks to one’s situation”:
You have no enemies, you say?
Alas! my friend, the boast is poor;
He who has mingled in the fray of duty,
That the brave endure,
Must have made foes!
If you have none,
Small is the work that you have done.
You’ve hit no traitor on the hip,
You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip,
You’ve never set the wrong to right.
You’ve been a coward in the fight.
It was a Twitter war over her controversial views that were it not for colonialism, black people would not have had piped water or a judiciary, for instance, that finally split the two, with the Soweto-born Maimane insisting the system was dehumanising, had caused untold misery and could not be praised in any form.
The DA then banned Zille from all party activities but allowed her to continue her term as Western Cape Premier.
Instead, when her time was up, Zille returned as federal chairperson of the DA, and Maimane says he was forced to quit as party leader.
He is the latest to fall after crossing swords with Zille.
Former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko was the first protégé of Zille’s to jump ship after clashing with her. Mazibuko found herself at odds with Zille and eventually left the party and politics altogether in 2014.
Then came Dr Mamphele Ramphele in 2014, who joined the DA after she was courted by Zille to move over with her party, Agang. The academic later pulled out of the merger.
Outgoing Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba refused to accept the fact that Zille was making a political comeback. When Zille announced that she would run for the position of federal chair in the DA, Mashaba expressed concerns and resigned on Monday after Zille’s election.
During his resignation announcement yesterday, Maimane was joined by Zille, the party’s spokesperson Solly Malatsi and Athol Trollip, who also announced that he would be stepping down as the DA chairperson.
Maimane said: “Make no mistake, along the journey there have been many difficulties. I fought battles with Helen Zille, especially regarding her comments - and the impact of her comments - as it pertained to colonialism.
"These sentiments did not help build trust between black and white South Africans, and they undermined the project the party was engaged in.
“It is no secret that for decades, the DA has been seen as a party for minorities only. The majority of South Africans, mainly black South Africans, did not relate to the DA and, by extension struggle to trust the DA.
“This was not the fault of any one person, rather a consequence of the historic journey of DA and its predecessor parties. However, this needed to change
and it required deliberate action,” said
He said it had become quite
clear that there existed a grouping
within the DA who did not see eye
to eye with him and did share his
vision for the party and the direction
it was taking.
“There has been for
several months a consistent and
co-ordinated attempt to undermine
my leadership and ensure that either
this project failed, or I failed.
“This extended to the smear
campaign that was run on the front
pages of an Afrikaans weekly paper
in an attempt to destroy my name
and my integrity.
behaviour has put my wife and two
young children in great danger as
pictures of our home were published
in the media,” he said.
“The DA is not the vehicle best
suited to take forward the vision
of building One South Africa for
All. It is with great sadness that in
order to continue the fight for this
vision I so strongly believe in, and
the country I so dearly love, I today
tender my resignation as leader of
the Democratic Alliance.”
will continue as parliamentary leader
until the end of the year, after which
the party will go to congress to elect
Reacting to Maimane’s
announcement, former DA member
and Cape Town mayor Patricia de
Lille said: “I hate to say I told you so,
but I am going to say it anyway.
not claiming to be a sangoma but I
warned Mmusi Maimane that if he
didn’t stand on principle, his party’s
laptop boys would swallow him up
and spit him out.
"He saw the blue
train coming but didn’t know how
to get out of the way.”
She said the DA was well on its
way on the path of destruction.
“It’s best we don’t disturb them.
The problem for Mmusi and his
handlers in the DA is that none of
them have a clue about principled